Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)



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Mad Max: Fury Road is a reprisal of the series thirty years after the last of the original three films was released. Mel Gibson is nowhere to be found; he has been replaced by Tom Hardy as Max. Charlize Theron is the real star of the film as Furiosa. Nicholas Hoult rounds out the core three members of the cast as Nux.

This movie was one of the best of the last decade. It is a wonderful action movie with enough story to keep you entertained. It is further improved by a strong female protagonist that doesn’t use her sexuality as a weapon. Furiosa is just fine using her fists; Furiosa kicks ass! All the ambition of Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman to bring a strong female lead to an action movie are trumped by Theron in Fury Road. Max plays second fiddle with minimal dialog spoken in a feral grunt after his years of solitude.

The choreography of the fight scenes is a masterpiece. I found the action sequences to be the perfect level of the edge of screen movement and center screen focus. Several long action sequences are separated by detours from Fury Road in the movie. With each new action scene, there is a delightful new series of weapons or attacks. Much like John Wick movies, the action sequences are magnificent ballets.

The CGI was judiciously used in this movie. The flame effects held up the least to age. The decision to primarily rely on practical effects was a brilliant choice. The custom car shops that got to put together the vehicles must have had so much fun. Welding car shells on top of car shells with gigantic engines punching through the hoods is a feast for a gearhead’s eyes. The humble Volkswagen Beetle was converted into numerous beach-buggyesque machines. Taking the time to build props paid dividends for this movie and will help it to continue to age well.

Charlize Theron is not the only woman kicking ass in this movie. The recently freed captive wives of Immortan Joe are also tough. Dressed in sheer angelic-white outfits they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty when needed. They gain further motivation from the badass grandmas’ biker gang. The women in this movie have their agency and use it to the fullest. Max and Furiosa develop a relationship as do Nux and Capable, one of the wives. These relationships are not romantic, they are born from a level of respect and trust in the other person. It would have been easy to go down the love story path, but Fury Road avoids it and makes the movie that much better.

Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best action movies of the last decade. George Miller made a triumphant return to an action series that wasn’t begging for a reboot. Maybe he was tired of directing family movies like Babe: Pig in the City and two Happy Feet films. The studio took a chance on opening their wallet to fund the production and the risk paid off. This movie is as good now as it was five years ago and will age just as well five years into the future. If you haven’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road and need an action film fix give Fury Road a watch.

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©2019 by Sean Whitehurst